Vic M-League 2019: Men’s Premier Division wrap – Round 11

MEN’S Premier Division Round 11 had a number of big matches, headlined by a massive match between DDNA and Sirens Netball, with Sirens only just getting over the line in the tight clash. DDNA applied exceptional pressure to the high-ranked side, seeing Sirens come away with a one goal victory (47-46). Melbourne City Blackhawks backed up their Round 4 win against Pasifika Sharks with a five goal win this time around (70-65). The Blackhawks had the upper hand from the get-go, applying phenomenal pressure across the court to create turnovers aplenty. Meanwhile, Southern Seahawks well and truly ran over Ariels for a 13 goal win (47-34).

Geelong Cougars went better than their Round 4 four-goal victory over St Therese, extending the margin this time around for an impressive 11-goal win (58-47). It was a tight battle early, and while both sides had dominant patches it often seemed as if the sides were even throughout thanks to the intense contest on every ball across the court. Neither side seemed to take much control throughout the first half, playing tug of war with possession leaving Geelong with a one-goal lead at the first break and St Therese with the leg-up at half-time. The second half loomed as a tight one before the Cougars came out and blew Saints out of the water, shooting 34 goals to 22 on their way. Brayden Pastore and Cameron Allum were impressive as ever at the post for the Cougars, sharing the load as per usual and benefiting off their teammates’ speedy and strong drive down the court. That was a real issue for St Therese, with the side unable to apply their brand of hands-over pressure to deny easy ball down the court given the speed with which Geelong used the ball. In defence for Geelong were Luke Marko Rawlings and Joshua Burns, with the pair using their typical flair to deny easy ball into Saints shooters, Josh Clavarino and Connor Lilly, while Saints attackers, Riley Richardson and Guy Keane used their typical speed and circle feeding to find their goalers despite the defensive pressure. One of the more interesting contests of the match was clear in the final quarter, seeing Geelong player-coach Gez Murphy lining up on young gun Tristan Comans, in a battle of experience and tactical knowledge versus raw talent. The pair were unrelenting to the final whistle, creating a formidable battle through the midcourt. While Geelong extended their lead in the second half, credit to St Therese for sticking in the game and contesting every ball, finding opportunities to close the margin once more.

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